Heel beats strengthens the back from the upper back down through the lower back, and the hamstrings. It is also one of the best butt exercises you can do on the mat.
Pilates heel beats are fairly easy. The main thing you have to remember is to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in and to go for length along your back and down the back of your legs so that you protect your lower back.
Pilates Exercise Instructions for Heel Beats
- Lie on your stomach with your forehead on your hands. See fig. 1.
- Have your legs together, straight behind you.
- Lift your abdominal muscles away from the mat. Feel your spine lengthen.
- Turn your legs out very slightly at the hip. Heels together.
- Keep your abs lifted and legs together as you send lengthening energy down the backs of your legs and through your heels. Let that energy lift your legs off the mat.
- Your legs stay lifted as you quickly beat your heels together and apart. See fig. 2.
Though the exercise is called heel beats, the emphasis is on working from the inner and back of the upper thigh.
(Let your shoulders stay relaxed. This exercise has little to do with them!)
- Do 10 beats. Rest and repeat.